Cory Friedman knows how it feels to have a body that won't stop moving, to be really different from everyone else, to be made fun of every day, to be totally reckless, to never relax, to be shut out of everything, to break free and take control.
James Patterson's Against Medical Advice riveted adults with the page-turning drama of one teenager's courage, sacrifice, and triumph in confronting an agonizing medical condition. Now this deeply personal account of Cory Friedman's intense struggles with Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-as well as depression, anxiety, and alcohol addiction-is available for teen readers.
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|Publisher:||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Hometown:Palm Beach, Florida
Date of Birth:March 22, 1947
Place of Birth:Newburgh, New York
Education:B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971
Read an Excerpt
Med HeadMy Knock-down, Drag-out, Drugged-up Battle with My Brain
By Patterson, James
Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersCopyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.
A Father’s Prologue
THE EVENTS RECOUNTED HERE took place over what seemed like—to those of us who lived it—an endless thirteen-year period covering Cory’s life from age five to age seventeen. We decided, with Cory’s blessing, to tell his story in his own voice, because this conveys most powerfully what it was like for Cory to live through these experiences.
Some names and other identifying details of friends, doctors, and medical institutions have been changed.
The extremely unusual events portrayed in this story have been reconstructed from Cory’s own accounts, from detailed medical diaries that were kept by his mother throughout the period, and from direct family observations. Cory confirms that this narrative presents an accurate portrait of his life story.
Over the four years it took to write this book, I was continuously tormented by the decision of whether or not to make the most intimate details of Cory’s life public. Finally, I went to Cory for the guidance I needed, and he resolved the issue in a single sentence, without hesitation:
“If it will help other people like me, yes.”
A LOST CHILDHOOD
At the Edge of Madness
I’M SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD and lying like a pathetic, helpless lump in the backseat of our family car, being transported to a place that treats crazy people.
This is an exceptional event, even for me. I know that my brain causes unusual problems that no one has been able to treat, but being insane isn’t one of them.
How and why I’ve gotten to this point is complicated, but the main reason I’m here is more immediate. I’ve finally found the one thing that brings me peace—alcohol.
Now this self-medication has become a life-threatening danger that I cannot fix by myself. The doctors at the place I’m going to promise they can help me. I’ve heard that one before.
After about an hour, we arrive at a large brick building with a sign that reads DRESSLER PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. In a split second the reality of what’s happening becomes very real and very scary.
“Why does it say that?” I call from the backseat, my heart suddenly pounding.
“Don’t worry about the sign,” my mother says to calm my rising panic. “They treat all different kinds of problems here, Cory.”
Dad looks as worried as I am but says softly, “Let’s not deal with this now, okay?”
Not deal with going to a hospital for psychos? Sure, no problem. What can my father be thinking?
Inside the main entrance, I enter a very crowded, somewhat noisy waiting room. Being on view always makes me uneasy, so as soon as I start to walk, my feet need to perform a triple hop, three quick steps only inches apart, which throws me off balance.
I have to do this in order to satisfy a tension that is building up in my legs and can’t be released any other way. Sometimes this trips me up so much that I go flying to the ground.
I do the triple hop a few more times before reaching out for the safety of one of the empty waiting-room chairs.
Welcome to my fun house, folks.
Excerpted from Med Head by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
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